Letter To the Editor:
Do you remember?
When Branstad was governor and he put a freeze on hiring and wages of the state employees. Not for 3 or 6 months, or 1 or 2 years but for 3 years. But, he gave himself a cozy pay raise. At the Veteran’s Home in Marshalltown, employees in positions of cooks, janitor or laundry jobs were no longer state jobs but contracted company jobs. The state worker could stay and work for the company or transfer out to another state facility. Branstad gave himself a raise and a nice bonus for Christmas. He took away state run liquor stores and the workers either stay with the new owners or transferred into another state job. These contracted companies paid their workers low pay and very poor benefits.
Branstad’s goal was to decrease state jobs and break up unions that gave the workers a right to come together to improve their lives and to ensure that were secure and the worksite was safe. Some unions buckled and many weakened due to the governors fear tactic, that if you talked union or encouraged other employees to join unions you lose your job. This fear tactic left the laborer without a voice.
Look at how it weakened the great industrial jobs that were American made. Many are over seas. Look at the safety and health care jobs that are gone due to state cuts.
There are still sweat shops and puppy mills in America. The oil spill in Alaska and our Gulf are safety issues that top management ignored.
The explosions in the mines in Kentucky, where the top management did not stop, when the voices of the laborers shouted about the safety problems in the mines.
The crisis where human lives are lost, land and habitats are destroyed, are an American crisis. Enough is enough. All levels of government County, State and Federal, need to work together for the people of America. We can not go backwards. Stop now and look at the jobless that are now our homeless. Our veterans that fought to keep us free, are walking the street asking for a dollar for something to eat and a place to rest to be safe. Our children who live on the streets, sort thru the garbage for a meal and stand at street corners all night.
Enough is enough.